His name has been changed here to protect his identity. But, 'Donald' is just one of the many people who have responded with similar thoughts and words. Donald has been a friend of mine since before I even knew Joel. We were tight.
Donald knew Joel too...and he sent a message to Joel at the beginning of July after it came out that Joel had been continuing to lie to and betray me, and I chose to continue to be open about what was going on with us. Donald's response to that is included in my email here. Joel sent him an email that admitted that it wasn't a good idea for Donald to stick up for him right now...that he really had 'betrayed me in many ways over and over the past few years.' And 'encouraging him to apologize' to me. Donald sent an email to me saying that he was sorry for talking about me to Joel. He asked me to forgive him and said it wouldn't happen again.
I appreciated that. But, these things also needed to be said. I pray that it made him think...and I pray that it will make some of you who think like him really ponder what you are doing.
donald, this is michawn. you said this…
~"Hello Joel, this is Donald. I had read part of a post of Michawn's a while back, and I commented and told her it was weird to post stuff like that. Then today I just read a post of hers. Honestly she sounds like she's lost her mind completely. I am really sorry you are having to go through this. I wish Michawn could keep her mouth shut and stop self destructing and alienating herself. I will pray for you daily, I am so sorry. You are probably a saint for staying married to her.”~
and this (after joel simply said that things were very difficult and that he shouldn't have lied and done things behind my back)…
~"Don't kick yourself Joel, Satan is the "accuser of the brethren". You and I are both just sinners that are forgiven and washed white as snow, clothed in His righteousness. Lucky for me, my wife isn't bashing me and my family to all our friends. As far as the way you get treated I don't care if you've been cheating on Michawn all along, it doesn't make anything she does any less rotten. You are such a good guy and I have all kinds of respect for you. It seems glaringly obvious that Michawn is eaten up with self righteousness and bitterness, and she wants you to divorce her so she can be "vindicated" so to speak by religious people. One thing is certain though, even if your own family and Christian friends tell you to divorce Michawn, they have no idea the pain it will cause. So I want to encourage you to simply do your best to do what's right. In the long run, you will be very happy you did. I always remember those cool MTN bike rides when you'd school me on a junk bike, and then we'd have a great prayer time. You have an amazing relationship with The Lord, and no matter how lousy things seem he hasn't gone anywhere.”~
you might be thinking to yourself right now, ‘why is she doing this? this just proves my point further. i said i was sorry. she needs to just get over it.’
the problem with that way of thinking is that it doesn’t actually tackle the problems at the root. it doesn’t actually address the reasons you were wrong for doing what you did in the first place. just saying you’re sorry and sweeping it all under the rug doesn’t address those beliefs that you have, those root/core beliefs, that directs you in such a misguided way.
you mention memories of joel. you mention what fun you guys had, the special times. you mention his amazing relationship with God…present tense. you mention that he is such a good guy…present tense. even though you’ve spent no real time with him in over a decade.
what do you say about me? that it sounds like i’ve lost my mind completely. that you wish i would just keep my mouth shut. that i’m self-destructing. that i’m alienating myself. that to stay married to me would require a sainthood. there is more about me that you mention that you have accepted as truth, but i think you get the picture.
it’s interesting to me…why no memories of me, donald? why not remember who *i* am? you know…that girl that you liked to hang out with because she was cool…because it was basically like having another fun dude around. the one you did things with like wakeboarding. the one you didn’t mind just asking to go somewhere because you knew it wouldn’t get weird…we could just be good friends. the one you told pretty private things to…because you said it was easy to talk to me. the one who, when you had a wedding to go to in dallas, you knew i could ride along and just be fun for the day. easy breezy.
if i seem different, donald…why would that not be a red flag for you? why would that not concern you and make you want to reach out to me instead of bashing me into the ground? why would that make you stop being a friend to me?
donald, i don’t really use touchy feely language. don’t get hyper emotional. don’t take things too personally or make mountains out of molehills. i am still *that* girl.
but, if i did use touchy feely language, i would say that your reaction to all of this has…hurt me. it’s hurt me badly.
sadly, your reaction to all of this is status quo. it’s the way counselors react, it’s the way pastors react. it’s just…the reaction.
it doesn’t matter who the wife is in the situation. it doesn’t matter what she’s like. it doesn’t matter if she’s a person who has never overreacted in her life. it doesn’t matter if she actually always makes molehills out of mountains instead of the other way around. none of that matters. she will be accused of all of those things in every meeting and every counseling session. doesn’t matter what *proof* she has of what she is saying…she is the one who will go down.
no matter who she is, she will be made out to be crazy, to be hyper-emotional, to be a trouble-maker, to have ‘lost her mind completely,’ and all kinds of other things.
the husband will be made out to be a saint for staying with her.
why would you automatically assume that joel is innocent and i’m to blame? why? you knew us *both,* donald? you loved us *both.*
sadly, this is what ‘friends’ and the ‘church’ do to women who are being sinned against in a marriage. they beat them down even more…until all they can do is leave and stay quiet (because when they talk, they are only accused of more).
a friend of mine calls it ‘the man code.’ it’s funny…even on the things that joel has admitted, instead of being held accountable and walked through natural consequences that come with those things, he has been praised for his ‘honesty’ and admired for accepting his failures. believe me…he has never been ‘accused’ by anyone. doesn’t matter if they have all the proof in the world and he’s admitting it.
i’ve done nothing wrong. i’m not crazy. i’m not bitter. i’m not alienating myself.
but…i will not leave and keep quiet. not only is what joel has done wrong…these reactions are wrong. reactions like yours. reactions that, without even any questioning, accuse and bash the wife.
if your *only* beef with me is that i went public…well, if men in the man code, the church, our ‘friends' had actually held him accountable for what he’s done and mentored him towards right things in the first place, we would not be in this position. had someone…*any*one...come to my rescue, i would not have been forced into that position in order to save myself.
that could have been you, donald. instead, you chose to believe the lies of the enemy and assume those things about me and bash me…someone you knew, someone you loved, someone you called friend.
you could have done that, not only for my sake, but for joel’s sake too.
you chose differently.
you say you were wrong to talk about me in your conversation to joel. you said you’re sorry and that you won’t do it again.
sadly, that’s not the root problem here. sadly, the problem is that you believed the things you were saying in the first place.This was written the first weekend of July. At this present time, I still have gotten no response to this email I sent him. Again, I pray that it at least made him think about his perspective and the reasons behind his actions (reactions). And I pray that any of you who have the same inclinations will really listen to what the above email says, examine yourselves, and realize the error of your ways.